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Crook Log

This area called Talehanges – a grassy area in which to cut firewood near a road

Crook Log. Early 19th pub in appearance, but may contain some 18th century structure. The extension at an angle to the east is also early 19th century, though much altered.  Said to date from 1605.  Mentioned in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. 1786 was called Fox and Hounds and was required to build stables. Was with Gravesend Brewery Beckett, then Russels, then Kidds, then Charringtons. By 1887 was Crook Log Hotel.

2 Drayman pub

4/6 Crook Log, 1880s with decorative features.

Polo Bar, formerly called the Upton Hotel and The Jolly Draymen, a pub of 1870 though much altered.

A toll-gate stood on the Dover Road, the main gates of Danson Park on the site.

Brampton Road

Crook Log Leisure Centre with bar.

Danson Park

Marked thus on the Ordnance Survey map of 1805, preserving the old name ‘Danson’ found as ‘Dansington’ in 1284, ‘Densinton’ 1301, ‘Danston’ 1327, ‘Danson’ c.1762, possibly "farmstead associated with a man called Denesige', from an Old English personal name with medial connective ‘ing’ and ‘tun’. The Manor of Danson is first mentioned in a Subsidy Roll of 1301, the owner being Gregory de Densinton, and again in a deed dated 1407. The next known reference dates from 1574 when the manor belonged to Matthew Parker, second son of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Other deeds date back as far as 1598, but until 1695 there is no deed relating to the whole manor.

Grounds landscaped in the later 1760s in the manner of Capability Brown - Fean Garwood, the head gardener, a disciple of Brown laid out the new estate.  A belt of trees were planted all around the edge of the park and an old cottage at Blendon was given a spire and renamed Chapel House There are Ring belts of trees deliberately uneven in contour, clumps, and avenue. Trees used as punctuation. Graced by many varieties of trees, of several generations' growth, including Wellingtonia pines, poplar, lime, oak, plane, beech, elm, cedar and others, and fine drives and ornamental water with waterfowl of various kinds, the park is a delightful spot at every season of the year.  Estate purchased by the Bexley Urban District Council for use as a public park in 1924. They were formally opened on 13th April, 1925 by H.R.H. the late Princess Royal. The park has a fine rock garden, water garden and Olde English Garden an open-air swimming pool, and facilities for boating, tennis, football hockey netball, bowls and putting. The park now looks a little bare, with its second-generation trees and the park boundary is now marked by all-too-visible semi-detacheds. Field patterns can be determined in the adjoining streets

Doric temple was there and is now The Bury near Stevenage

Danson House - was a farm originally settled in Anglo-Saxon times. The name probably came from the first settler. In the middle Ages, the landowner was the Archbishop of Canterbury, and there was a succession of tenant farmers. In the course of the 17th century the house was enlarged and in 1695 it was sold as a gentleman's seat to John Styleman. When he died the land was acquired by John Boyd, a London merchant and a director of the East India Company. Boyd bought up adjacent land over three times the area of the present park and he wanted a grander house. 

Lake. The stream was dammed, the old house becoming submerged beneath the lake, which was constructed in 1775 by Nathanial Richmond by damming Woodside Brook. The 11.5 hectares lake is now a major feature. The Dam is 152.4m long and is an earth embankment with a drainage sluice at the south end. It makes for a Large, rather uncompromising lake this being the largest sheet of ornamental water, with the exception of the Serpentine, for many miles around.

Danson House 'Crystalline villa'. Built 1759- 62.1762 by Sir Robert Taylor for John Boyd. Grandest of the suburban estates. Geometric purity - the height of fashion in its day and in splendid isolation - A model for less exalted suburban dwellings. It shows the individual and his family as the icon of independent family life. The house consists of a piano nobile and half-storey above a stone basement, the walls rendered, the roofs low and slated. It has five windows on each side, but is not square.  The decoration of the three main rooms was completed, probably in c. 1770, with exquisite marble chimneypieces.  The saloon is decorated with fine inset paintings of gods and goddesses between foliage panels - 1766 and the artist's name 'Pavillo' is recorded. This is probably Charles Pavilion, a little-known French painter, who died in Edinburgh in 1772. Several artists were commissioned to paint the panels in the- main rooms. Greek or Roman antiquities were acquired for the house and for the grounds - The Danson Vase, carved for the Emperor Hadrian, is now in the Orangery, Kensington Gardens. Sir William Chambers had been engaged to design the ceilings, chimney pieces and cornices. An unusual feature of the interior was the one-manual organ in the music room, built in 1766 by George England, and restored in 1959.  The estate was sold to John Johnson, a retired captain of the 62nd Regiment of Foot who had the stables built. The next owner-occupier was a railway engineer, Alfred Bean, Chairman of the Bexleyheath Line in 1895. When Mrs Bean died the estate was acquired by Bexley Urban District Council and The Mansion was used as a museum. During World War Two, it was used as the headquarters of Civil Defence. Later the principal floor was used for receptions while rooms above were used by the Parks Department. Fortunately, English Heritage has stepped in and has refurbished the mansion.

Stables. Free standing pavilions demolished. Designed with the same lucidity. Semi derelict but became a pub. Designed with the same lucidity, though built c. 1800,

Swimming pool


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